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Offshore Investments For MRDC Impacted

Pearl of South Pacific Resort in Fiji

The offshore investment portfolio for Mineral Resources Development Company’s tourism and hospitality businesses in Fiji and Samoa has been seriously impacted due to Covid-19.

MRDC’s chief operating officer John Tuaim said the company has seen job cuts resulting in only operating on a base 50 per cent of staff working at the Pearl Resort in Fiji while keeping a minimal team for maintenance and care of the resort until the restrictions in Fiji are lifted.

Mr Tuaim said since Fiji has not been receiving tourists this has provided an opportunity to carry out refurbishment to the Pearl Resort’s old wing and added new facilities into the hotel while the occupancy is low.

“Our portfolio internationally has been affected by Covid, we expect that to improve very soon depending, so we hear that the Fiji government is going to open up in November so I think that will help hopefully people travel to Fiji,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Tuiam said the PNG investments have not been impacted badly.

He said the Hilton Hotel in Port Moresby has been directed by the Government to be used as a quarantined facility for people coming to PNG on business trips.

“Even during covid the Hilton Hotel has been doing very well.

We actually having occupancies above the ratios that we have never had during the normal periods so thanks to Covid our hotel has actually been performing better during the Covid period,” Mr Tuaim added.

He said MRDC’s investment portfolio has a value of K6 billion and the company is yet to make an evaluation of the loss of revenue.

He said this will done after Covid-19 improves.

“Investments in stocks and around the globe as you would have seen the stock markets have suffered so we are in the category like the rest of the world.

In the oil and gas business, during the early months of Covid the oil prices have actually gone below USD30 dollars, and that has also affected our revenue in the oil and gas business, but slowly the oil price has actually come back so it’s improving, hopefully it stays that way,” he added.

Mr Tuaim said the closure of Ok Tedi recently has also affected dividends to MRDC’s Ok Tedi shareholders.

MRDC has a 33 per cent shareholding in Ok Tedi.

Source: https://postcourier.com.pg/offshore-investments-for-mrdc-impacted/

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